Cognitive Social Psychology: The Princeton Symposium on the Legacy and Future of Social Cognition

By Gordon B. Moskowitz | Go to book overview

22
Irene V. Blair
University of Colorado, Boulder

Implicit Stereotypes and Prejudice

“Whites today are, in fact, more prejudiced than they are wont to admit, ” concluded Crosby, Bromley, and Saxe (1980, p. 557) nearly two decades ago. With over 80 demonstrations that stereotypes and prejudice can operate without the perceivers' awareness or intention (i.e., implicitly), psychologists today have even more evidence for this conclusion. However, it is no longer a one-liner. With the development of sophisticated experimental techniques, we have obtained an increasingly fine-grained and complex picture of intergroup bias. Moreover, we have come to understand that, in addition to being more prejudiced than people are wont to admit, they may also be more prejudiced than they can admit. 1

The experimental study of implicit intergroup bias began soon after Crosby et al. concluded that Whites had something to hide. By adapting theories and methods from the study of implicit memory and unconscious perception, stereotype and prejudice researchers gained access to a new level of analysis. Particularly influential was the theory of spreading activation (e.g., Collins & Loftus, 1975; Posner & Snyder, 1975). According to this theory, concepts in one's cognitive representation of the world are spatially organized, such that associated concepts (e.g., bread - butter) are closer together than unassociated concepts (e.g., bread - doctor). Because of this arrangement, the activation of one concept causes the activation of nearby, associated concepts, but not distant, unassociated concepts through the process of spreading activation (for discussions of alternative accounts, see Neely, 1991; Ratcliff & McKoon, 1988). As a consequence, the presentation of one concept (e.g., bread) facilitates the subsequent processing of an associated concept (e.g., butter), compared with an unassociated concept (e.g., doctor). Most important, this sequence of events can occur without the perceiver's awareness or intention (i.e., implicitly), and it can be manipulated and studied experimentally.

In one of the first demonstrations of implicit intergroup bias, Gaertner and McLaughlin (1983) showed that participants were faster to identify paired letter strings if they were consistent than inconsistent with the stereotype. Hence, students were faster to identify Whites-ambitious and Blacks-lazy, than Whites-lazy and Blacks-ambitious. A few years later, Devine (1989) demonstrated that even subliminally presented cues could result in intergroup bias. And recently, researchers have measured implicit intergroup bias through neurological and physiological indicators (e.g., Osterhout, Bersick, & McLaughlin, 1997; Vanman, Paul, Ito, & Miller, 1997). For example, Osterhout et al. showed that event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were sensitive to the stereotype consistency of a statement (e.g., “The secretary bought herself a plane ticket” vs. “The secretary bought himself a plane ticket”).

The excitement generated by the availability of methods to study implicit intergroup bias has produced a large and growing literature with strong evidence for the prevalence of such biases in society. Implicit racial and ethnic bias has received the greatest attention, with over 30 studies showing that Whites have relatively strong implicit negative associations with Blacks (or other non-White groups) and positive associations with Whites (e.g., Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996; Chen & Bargh, 1997; Dasgupta, McGhee, Greenwald, & Banaji, 1999; Dasgupta & Greenwald, 2000; Devine, 1989; Dovidio, Evans, & Tyler, 1986; Dovidio, Kawakami, Johnson, Johnson, & Howard, 1997; Fazio & Dunton, 1997; Fazio, Jackson, Dunton, & Williams, 1995; Gaertner & McLaughlin, 1983; Gilbert & Hixon, 1991; Glaser & Banaji, 1999; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998; Lepore & Brown, 1997; Locke, MacLeod, & Walker, 1994; Moskowitz, Salomon, & Taylor, 2000; Rudman, Ashmore, & Gary, 2000; Sinclair & Kunda, 1999; Spencer, Fein, Wolfe, Fong, & Dunn, 1998; Vanman et al., 1997; Wittenbrink, Judd, & Park, 1997, in press; Wittenbrink, Judd, Park, & Stone, 1997; for evidence of implicit race stereotypes, see Kawakami, Dion, & Dovidio, 1998; Macrae, Bodenhausen, & Milne, 1995; von Hippel, Sekaquaptewa, & Vargas, 1997). Evidence for implicit gender bias has also begun to

-359-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cognitive Social Psychology: The Princeton Symposium on the Legacy and Future of Social Cognition
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 503

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.